Sequoia NP and Death Valley NP in late March
March 20, 2017 5:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning a 5-day trip to Sequoia National Park and Death Valley National Park in late March. I've never been to either. What should I see at either? And, in particular this year, should I be worried about snow on roads? (So will I need a 4x4?) Other things to think about? Y'all made my last vacation up to the Redwoods so much better than it would have been. Thanks in advance!
posted by persona au gratin to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)

I won't threadsit, but I will add: If the roads are going to be snowy or icy I'll just skip Sequoia/KC this spring. I don't want to have to worry about that sort of thing driving in the mountains.
posted by persona au gratin at 5:50 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]

Ah damn, I was gonna say Devil's Postpile but it's not in either, it's nearer to Mammoth I guess. The dunes at Death Valley are great.
posted by gusandrews at 7:24 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]

So Seki is pretty far north from Death Valley - unless you're jonesin to see big giant trees, I'd spend the time coming up the Kern and up over the Kern plateau if it's open. The Needles off the lower kern is one of those wow crazy insane places- especially if you like rock climbing. Where you heading from? That'll make suggestions a lot more practical.
posted by mrzz at 8:18 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]

I was just in Death Valley. No snow. See the Mesquite Sand Dunes. Take a car with high clearance so you can go on the back roads.
posted by kerf at 10:59 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]

I'm heading up the 15 from LA. As I've done more research, I'm thinking I may put off Sequoia until it's warmer. But I'll still take suggestions for it, as I'll do it in a few months. So Death Valley suggestions will be put to immediate use. Thanks!
posted by persona au gratin at 1:30 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]

In Death Valley, Dante's View at sunset is not to be missed. Scotty's Castle is closed until 2019 and some other roads were damaged, so be prepared: At the bottom of the page, they advise you to keep up with the road conditions on Facebook.
posted by soelo at 8:00 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]

Moro Rock in Sequoia was pretty cool.
posted by triage_lazarus at 8:40 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]

I work in Sequoia-Kings, and can confirm that late March might be hit-or-miss this year; we'll have a week of beautiful weather and dry roads, and then three or four straight days of chain restrictions/rockfall/mudslides as the next storm moves through. It's great to have the precipitation after 5 years of drought, but the roads are two-lane and winding, and a real challenge when conditions are not the best.
posted by Lycaon_pictus at 9:39 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

As far as places to visit, you won't be disappointed by the Giant Forest, either. And if time allows and the road is open, make the drive into Cedar Grove. It offers scenic grandeur on the scale of Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, without the suffocating crowds.
posted by Lycaon_pictus at 9:46 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]

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